Three dead bodies were found on neighboring residential properties in Bienenbüttel, Lower Saxony. According to initial findings, there was a bloody altercation between the neighbors, the police said on Friday evening.

Shortly after 12:00 p.m. on Friday, shots were fired in a small housing estate in the municipality of Bienenbüttel in Lower Saxony. Screams echo from a property – shortly afterwards three people are dead. “We are currently assuming that neighborhood disputes have escalated here,” said the spokesman for the Lüneburg police inspection, Kai Richter, on Friday evening. According to initial findings, an 85-year-old property owner is said to have killed his neighbors – a 62-year-old and his 61-year-old wife. Then he is said to have killed himself. He is said to have “handled” firearms, the spokesman said.

According to the police, residents in the residential area in Bargdorf, a district of Bienenbüttel, heard the shots and screams and alerted the officials. This approached with a large contingent, including special police forces from Hamburg with an armored vehicle and a special task force from Hanover. The forces secured the adjoining properties and entered the residential buildings.

“We were there very quickly by the police, also with appropriately specialized forces,” said Richter. However, the area is very extensive. The affected plots are at least 1,500 square meters in size, partly wooded and there are several buildings. The officials should have orientated themselves first , it was said.

Forces of the Mobile Task Force (MEK) Lüneburg then found a lifeless person on one of the properties. Since the 85-year-old was allowed to hunt several firearms, the officials acted with a high degree of caution, Richter said. In the course of the operation, the other two dead were found.

According to the police, residents of the few surrounding houses, fewer than a dozen, were brought to safety and were temporarily accommodated in an emergency shelter for the fire brigade. They were able to return to their homes by evening. The unitary municipality of Bienenbüttel in the district of Uelzen has around 6,000 inhabitants. The district of Bargdorf, where almost 300 people live, is around 15 kilometers south of Lüneburg.

The investigation into the background to the crime was just beginning, said the police spokesman. Whether there were arguments or provocations between the neighbors on Friday morning has yet to be determined. “We have three dead people, the investigation will show how this is causally related,” said Richter. It was initially unclear why the police assumed there was a dispute.

The crime scene investigation began later that evening. The forensic medicine from Hamburg arrived. Technicians began collecting evidence. The experts should reconstruct the course of the crime, said Richter. The police initially did not provide information on whether weapons were found.

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder wants to remain a member of the SPD. Exclusion proceedings against the former chancellor are currently pending at the SPD in Hanover. But he looks at it “with composure,” said Schröder.

The autobahn was closed for several hours after a serious accident that left three dead and many injured. What exactly happened remained unclear in the early morning.